Get to know tea tree oil, your skin’s new BFF
From the seemingly never-ending array of natural beauty treatments available to us, there are a few that rise above the rest: Witch hazel, lavender essential oil, avocado oil… to name just a few… And yes, the little potion you see here before you is most definitely on that list, tea tree oil. You’ve likely seen a bottle of this camphor-scented liquid, maybe there’s even one hiding out in your own beauty cabinet… but do you really know all it can do? Read on to for all the benefits of tea tree oil and for a simple, hair healthy DIY.
What is it? Distilled from the leaves of the tea tree, or Melaleuca alternifolia, a tree endemic to Australia (though other species are present in Tunisia, Egypt, Vietman, and Malaysia), tea tree oil has long been used to treat a variety of skin conditions and bodily infections. Traditionally used by the indigenous Bundajaling people of Eastern Australia, tea tree gained wider popularity in the early 1900’s. Tea tree oil is now commonly used to treat skin conditions ranging from eczema to acne to dandruff.
What are the benefits? The benefits of tea tree oil lie in its anti-properties: tea tree oil is anti-fungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti viral. Because it’s is so effective at killing germs and preventing infection, tea tree oil is an excellent oil to keep on hand in a home emergency kit. But after discovering all it can do, you’ll likely find yourself reaching for it in non-emergencies as well! In fact, tea tree oil has been found to be more effective than benzoyl peroxide at treating acne and blemishes.
How do I use it? Tea tree oil should not be ingested (so please, don’t drink it. It’s not actual tea…) but it can be applied externally to treat and heal pretty much any and everything, from that stubborn zit that popped up last night to the dandruff you don’t like to talk about.
- Dab a little on a Q-tip and use to spot-treat acne and blemishes (be mindful that tea tree is drying)
- Dilute in warm water to treat athlete’s foot or simply use as a refreshing foot soak
- Dilute with water to make your own at-home cleaners
- Mix with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, and dab on areas of skin effected by psoriasis or eczema
- Massage tea tree oil onto the scalp or mix with your shampoo to refresh your scalp and ward off dandruff. Read on for our recipe…
DIY Tea Tree Scalp Oil
10-15 drops tea tree oil
Carrier oil (jojoba, olive, avocado, almond…)
Resealable light-blocking bottle
Fill your glass bottle 3/4 of the way full with your carrier oil. Add the tea tree oil and mix.
To use: Warm a few drops of tea tree mixture between your palms. Massage oil into scalp. Leave on for an hour or two or up to overnight, then shampoo and condition as normal. Repeat regularly to stimulate the scalp, promote hair growth and keep scalp problems, like dandruff, away.
+ What’s your favorite way to use tea tree oil?
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